tv [untitled] February 6, 2012 1:48pm-2:18pm PST
damage to my suv, assaulting at work. i brought it to the attention of the sfmta. not much was done because that seems to be outside of their jurisdiction. and another thing i would like to see them step up to the plate on his insurance is. make sure if you have drivers on the street that they are protected. please have uninsured motorist coverage. please make sure workers compensation is in place, at center, etc.. supervisor wiener: next speaker. >> i have been a driver for about 10 years. i can tell him in the presentation as my experience with say, what passengers want the most is they want a reliable cab.
and they would like a nice clean taxicab. those are the things that they want without having to have a steady. a study is good, but without that, that is what passengers generally want, and these days, they want to pay with a credit card. there is reliability, availability, and courteous, knowledgeable cabdrivers who know what they are doing. i am very much for a single operator taxing. i have dropped off single operator leaflets and while back, asking you guys to support that, and the reason why i support that is because i feel very much like an outsourced workers. what a single operator tax and get will do is for the drivers who want it, and line deputy director hayashi said, it will
not be for everyone. it will be for those who are career minded, who see this as an opportunity. it would allow them to have their own cabs and operate them like a real business, and these taxicab's can function when it is busy, on friday, saturday nights, in a marathon or something like that, so i very much support these taxicabs. i can tell you that at 5:00 a.m. this morning, we did not need an extra to wonder taxicabs to compete out there, and we did not need another 75 extra ones. as far as the dispatches, centralized dispatching is no greater but is also controversial. the only thing that has not prevented central dispatching is the politics, because from a transportation policy perspective, it is a no-brainer. they cannot even rightfully be called cab companies because
they are not in the business of providing taxicab service to the passengers. that is what drivers do. there is a big difference between the taxi leasing industry and the providers. they are leasing industry's, and they have no direct financial stake in providing service to the passenger. dispatch service as it currently is is marketed to cabdrivers, and that is not the way it should be, so in my opinion, dispatching an san francisco should be a public service, and i have ways where you can actually subsidize its own that it is free, and it should be a public service. thank you very much. supervisor wiener: thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is charles rathbone. i am with a cab company in am an assistant manager there. the current service is inadequate, and the dispatch is
inadequate. i say that as one of the companies that provides some of the best dispatch in the city, and i believe that we provide the best service to the neighborhoods. having said that, i am the first to acknowledge that we have a long way to go. unlike many of the people in the industry and say that it is your job to fix things, we believe it is our job to fix things. in accordance with that, my company within the last year has put about $150,000 into a service that we offer our customers. it is a hand-held application that people used to completely bypass the hold and get right into the dispatch system. this week, i looked over the numbers. i think on the slowest day, we had about 500 customers use the tax in magic, on the busiest day approximately 800. we also in the last few months
have initiated a system called udi, which is a dispatch enhancement, which allows many customers -- most customers are calling from the same address that they called from the last time, so this system gives the caller an automated response option to say, yes, i want the taxicab from the same place, and the order gets into the same system extremely fast. i would like to commend the mta staff, the incentive program for the ramp taxis is a superb think. it is tremendously appreciated by the drivers. the ramp taxis do more difficult and more demanding work than any other cabdrivers. if you hundred dollars worth of incentives really makes a difference. it is an acknowledgement that is very important.
there are a couple of other issues here. i have run out of time, but our company will continue to work on improving dispatch. one thing that we cannot do and that we do need you guys to work on is more taxicabs, and printed yearly, we need more at our company, not just more taxicabs in the city. our biggest problem is that we are routinely completely overwhelmed with the dispatch service orders to the point where we have every single taxicab and our fleet will have the mitterrand and 100 orders on the board. it is an absolutely hopeless situation. the answer is more taxicabs. we are cautiously optimistic that the board members are going to move in that direction, so if you can enjoy them on, please do. thank you. supervisor wiener: next speaker.
mr. grueber. >> thank you. i am with united taxicabs. there is one message and i would like to convey. it is that there must be improvements, not just in the quantity of taxicabs that are serving the public but in the efficiency of windows -- them serving. you can improve service by adding taxicab's of two. , and then you reach a point of diminishing returns because you are affecting the driver and, by doing that, and the more taxicab's you put on the street, more drivers have to struggle to make a living. it will impact the quality of service. it will impact the safety of services. a good steady goes back a few years now let shares there is an
inverse ratio, an inverse proportion between the driver in, and the number of accidents become a good study -- a good study goes back a few years and shows there is an inverse ratio. there is a technology that is here today. the problem is that it is now dispersed among several different applications that are now being used in san francisco, and numbers and numbers of them and are being developed across the country, and this needs to be consolidated into one system that every passenger and every cab driver and every cab in san francisco uses. this will be a tremendous help. centralized dispatch is an idea that goes back, i can trace it back to a previous the
administration that had a task force that recommended an least exploring a centralized dispatched. this goes back to to 1989 or 90. technologically, it is a snap of the thinker. taxicab companies can integrate their already computerized systems, and one company can send off to the others only those calls that they themselves cannot handle, and this will work for everybody, and the reasons we have been given, the reason why nobody is pursuing this is because nobody has pursued in the past. in other words, the power of the cap companies to block this is the very thing standing in the way of anybody taking it seriously right now. let me just say that the dispatch systems as they now currently exist unfortunately are terribly corrupt. that needs to change. no one is getting a handle on this.
and i also -- well, my time is up, so i will stop right there. bank. -- thank you. supervisor wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> it was my pleasure and honor to be a ramp cabdriver for over four years before i became a regular medallion holder. first, i want to thank christine hayashi. she has upset every single one of us, and that is a good thing, and she keeps moving forward. i cannot imagine this industry without what she has done in the past several years. i have seen many supervisors and many mayors come through here and try to sink their teeth into the taxicab industry and sort it all out. they typically have held a bunch
of hearings, got overwhelmed by the minutia, the corruption, the personalities in the industry, and then they have thrown up their hands. they have issued a whole bunch of new medallions and have then gone on to seek higher office and declared it a victory. i hope this does not happen with you folks. i hope if you seek higher office, you win, but that to fix some of the problems in the industry. none of those people who were here and have gone on ever addressed this issue of the dispatch. this idea of centralized dispatch has been years since i started in 1985, as i remember it. i have been working for two years with the only system i have worked with and have found it to be brilliant. it is now about 20% of my calls are coming from it. i have no financial interest in the company, but i get about 20 percent of my calls from it, and
the customers, we looked at each other over the back seat and say, "can you believe this?" is stand on the corner or houser they could beat talking to the cabdriver or believing in message. it is brilliant. it is the wave of the future. we need to in this direction. çhñyou can see the wonder of ths think for yourself. one other thing, charging cabdrivers' a percentage for cat -- credit-card fees is ridiculous. it sets up a situation of very customer get in and the customer gets -- we have never done that, and i hope that we never do, it
is as good as cash. we also need data. if you're going to put out more medallions, do not make it strictly a political decision like the other people before. >> bank -- supervisor mar: thank you very much. any further public comments? >> for a couple of years i worked in the hospitality industry. i saw firsthand how bad areas were with taxis. they were flabbergasted at how horrible the situation was. i am on the side for more taxis. supervisor mar: thank you very much. any further public comment? >> public comment is now closed. supervisor mar: thank you to the
members of the public in the one gentleman -- i know that i'd like to thank when i grab an issue, i do not let go until it is done. i know that mta staff is dedicated to these things as well. just a couple of issues that wanted to get a comment on one of them, and i mentioned this before, about credit cards. i noticed that there is less pushed back now than there were a few months ago. there were signs trying to discourage people, and i wondered if they were still there and if the agency was trying to transition more smoothly to the credit card system. >> in boston and new york there was initially a lot of
resistance. but we have plans going forward as to the credit card issue. i do not know to what extent i should talk about them today. but we definitely want to reduce the percentage down to something more comparable to what other merchants would pay. 5% was selected because that is what was typical in other cities. in new york is 5 percent, in boston is actually 6%. that looked normal at the time of policy, but since the franc dog act had been passed, there have been a lot of learning experiences from the ground. we will be drafting additional legislation pretty quickly here, to revise that policy.
supervisor mar: i know that the mta has given a lot of thought to structures and permits like that. personally, i am not a fan of the traditional medallion system. i think that it injects a lot of inefficiency into the system and in forces -- and present their lot of enforcement issues. putting in the middle man that can charge and make a lot of money. i am wondering what the thinking is around different structures. >> absolutely. the single operator permit was a different kind. in many ways companies have asked us to give a number of
temporary permits to the company's. said they could operate the vehicles without a medallion holder involved. yes, we are thinking about different ways for these permits, as they do not meet the traditional medallion mobled. putting medallions on the street or taxi driver in, and that kind of thing. supervisor mar: in terms of the complaint system and how it is processed, different groups will be good or bad, and i know it is something that i have dealt with regularly, people who have had bad experiences with a cab, they report it to 311 and they never hear anything. that is not unique to the cab
industry. we are gradually making a lot of those 311 issues, not really responding, they do a good job of passing along complaints someone saying that a cab driver made an inappropriate remark, or whenever, how would this process go to the mta and how would the process go? >> i would encourage everyone to use that system. we have 7000 individuals out there and it is hard for us to bring them all to a certain level of quality all at once. if we find particular issues with a vehicle or driver, we want to get that into our data.
the issue of calling someone back out after a complaint is something, as we have come in and created a new process, we have found that sometimes we would call people back and they were upset that we had called them back. saying that they had already called in -- what are you bothering me for? i already left the details. these other ones that seem the most sensitive. we are still finding our way as far as the right procedures and whether to call someone back. what does happen and, and it happens based on the number of staff and the nature of the complaint, if something is safety related, we will prioritize that.
for every complaint, we will call the driver and ask their side of the story. if there is an issue that can be resolved by the impact of the compact -- of the camera, depending on what our taxi driver tells us, we may either feel that there was something indicated. we will counsel them on their individual issue. and -- anger management, customer service, maybe you should not use that word in the front of your customers, or something like that. or we will have them come back in for a day of retraining. we want to use that to identify the problems that we can -- fix
on a case by case basis. supervisor mar: i know that when they call, they ask if we want someone to keep in touch. >> i will double check on that. we only have one person who is currently dedicated to those processes. supervisor cohen: i hope is that it would involve the big companies to small companies, but one asset covering the whole cities -- the whole city. >> it would be in for the purpose of getting into. off industry involved.
-- getting the entire industry involved. we think that it would be in the public interest of centralized dispatched, if you could find any available taxi in san francisco. supervisor cohen: pretty amazing, how it is in real time. it would be good if we could get reports of how close we are as it is developed and local government helps to develop it. supervisor cohen: i have a couple of questions. about the development of an application, are you partnered with dks, have you put it out to bid, and what exactly is the policy process will have laid out to develop this application?
>> until a few weeks ago, i had anticipated issuing an rflp. in part of the california college of arts at the end of february. supervisor cohen: there are good things that come out of them. i know that i just downloaded -- i am a taxicab user, and part of last year, i lamented the whole process of actually getting a cab. i have learned that it does not matter where you are. the west part, the east part of town, it is generally difficult to get a cab.
>> the taxi drivers also want the customers to be reliable. if they know that the customer will be there when they get there, you will find increased reliability. that is what this kind of platform offers. the customer does not go with another taxi driver and the taxi driver does not go with another customer. supervisor cohen: 1 more thing that i have experienced, almost literally being thrown out of a cab, because i tried to use my debit card by had cash, ended down very ugly, very quickly. >> use -- and it went down very ugly, very quickly. >> use 311. supervisor mar: without objection, continue to the call of the chair. is there any other business before us? >> we have no further items.
worked over in green division for 27. i guess you could say it's blood. >> come on in. have a seat. hold on. i like it because i am standing up. i am outside without a roof over my head and i see all kinds of people. >> you catch up to people you know from the past. you know. went to school with. people that you work with at other jobs. military or something. kind of weird. it's a small word, you be. like i said, what do people do when they come to san francisco? they ride a cable car. >> california line starts in the financial district. people are coming down knobbhill. the cable car picks people up.
takes them to work. >> there still is no other device to conquer these hills better than a cable car. nobody wanted to live up here because you had to climb up here. with the invention of the cable car, these hills became accessible. he watched horses be dragged to death. cable cars were invent in san francisco to solve the problem with it's unique, vertically challenged terrain. we are still using cars a century old >> the old cable car is the
most unique thing, it's still going. it was a good design by then and is still now. if we don't do something now. it's going to be worse later. >> the cable cars are built the same as they were in the late 1800's. we use a modern machinery. we haven't changed a thing. it's just how we get there. >> it's a time consuming job. we go for the quality rather than the production. we take pride in our work and it shows in the end product. >> the california line is mostly locals. the commuters in the morning, i see a lot of the same people. we don't have as tourists.